Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some See A Step Back From Porcello But I See Progress. Let Me Explain

There are two ways of looking at how Rick Porcello has pitched this season. One is that he is suffering from the sophomore jinx - and has regressed instead of made progress from his rookie year.
The other is viewing this as growing pains, and perhaps an even bigger sign Porcello might be a special pitcher some day.
I know the Tigers lost Tuesday, and Porcello's pitching line wasn't good, but he got through the outing OK, giving the Tigers a fighting chance to beat the White Sox - even though he took little in regard to "stuff" out to the mound.
When Porcello is right, his two-seam fastball has tremendous sinking action. It is remindful of the pitch Brandon Webb threw so effectively for the Arizona Diamondbacks before he was injured. His two-seamer will be about 89 mph or 90 mph on the radar gun, his four-seam fastball - a straight pitch - at 94 mph. Tuesday, Porcello was inbetween with both fastballs. It was difficult to distinguish which fastball Porcello was throwing. He was between 91 mph and 93 mph pretty much all game. The movement was not there. He still survived that outing because he has excellent instincts as a pitcher. The two-seam pitch will come back, undoubtedly with some extra work on the side. And ultimately Porcello, who is just just 21 years old, will be a better pitcher because of his struggles, not despite them.
A lesser pitcher would not be handling this nearly as well.

My Column in Wednesday's Oakland Press on Jim Leyland: Is he a great manager or overrated? The facts suggest both. http://tinyurl.com/2eh5y9o



Anonymous Rob said...

Porcello struggled in April of his rookie campaign just as he is this season. He may just be a slow starter. Rick is still very young and developing 4 or 5 different pitches at the MLB level.

10:30 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call, Book. Porcello is learning. He was probably rushed up last season, but they wouldn't have done that if he didn't possess the maturity you're referencing here.

8:37 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The key is that two-seamer. His other pitches are just OK, but that's all they need to be if his two seamer is right. He's throws his four seamers pretty hard, which is a good thing.

10:10 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

My point is this kid can win at such a young age, and perform respectably, even when he doesn't have his good "stuff." I would expect he will end up with a good season.

10:11 AM 

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